Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine on Thursday.
The offering by the prime minister comes as the notorious shrine is starting its four-day autumn festival.
The Japanese leader, while sending a ritual gift to the shrine, however, will unlikely visit the shrine in person.
The prime minister is also scheduled to tour Japan's northeast areas hardest hit by a powerful typhoon last weekend to grasp the extent of the damage for himself.
However, Seiichi Eto, minister in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs, did opt to visit the war-linked shrine in person on Thursday, marking the first such move by a cabinet minister to do so more than two years.
The controversial Shinto shrine, seen by neighboring countries as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, has long been a source of diplomatic friction with Japan's neighbors as it honors convicted war criminals together with the war dead.
Yasukuni Shrine honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from World War II.
Visits and ritual offerings made in person or by proxy to the infamous shrine by Japanese leaders and officials have consistently sparked strong criticism and hurt the feelings of China, South Korea and other countries brutalized by Japan during the war.
Abe has sent a ritual offering to Yasukuni during its spring and autumn festivals every year since he launched his current administration in 2012.
The Japanese prime minister last visited the controversial shrine in person on Dec 2013, at which time the visit was strongly condemned by China and South Korea, as well as the United States, who said was disappointed at the time with Abe's decision.